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  • 2016 October 12 17:48

    Sovcomflot takes part in Polar Code and Safety of Ice-going Ships conference

    On 5 October 2016, PAO Sovcomflot and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) held a conference entitled “Polar Code and Safety of Ice-going Ships”, Sovcomflot says in a press release. The event was dedicated to the specifics of implementing the Polar Code in Russia. The Polar Code, which will take effect on 1 January 2017, is designed to ensure the environmentally safe operation of vessels in polar waters. The Conference, which was held as part of the TRANSTEC 2016 international exhibition in St. Petersburg, became a platform for a productive dialogue between representatives of shipping companies, research centres and RS.  

    The Conference was opened with speeches from Konstantin Palnikov, RS Director General, and Igor Tonkovidov, Executive Vice President and Technical Director of PAO Sovcomflot. Attendees were then greeted by Vitaly Klyuev, Director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport of the Russian Ministry of Transport. The event was also attended by Alexey Klyavin, President of the Russian Chamber of Shipping, and Mikhail Gappoev, Technical Officer at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

    Igor Tonkovidov delivered a report highlighting modern transport solutions as a key element of large industrial projects in the Arctic. In his speech, Mr. Tonkovidov talked about the unique experience of operating in the Arctic and sub-Arctic seas accumulated by Sovcomflot Group over the past decade. “The availability of such competencies, qualified shipboard personnel, and a system of special training for crews to work in the difficult conditions of the northern seas is the cornerstone of a reliable transport component of oil and gas projects in the Arctic region,” he said. 

    He went on to remind those attending that presently Sovcomflot is successfully servicing three key Arctic oil and gas projects: Prirazlomnoye; Varandey and Novy Port fields, and a third of the company's vessels have a high ice class. Sovcomflot’s three Arc6 ice class tankers are assigned to the Varandey Project. Since the field started production in June 2008, SCF vessels have safely shipped over 47.3 million tons of crude oil and completed 687 voyages as of 1 October 2016. The Prirazlomnoye field is served by Sovcomflot’s two Arc6 ice class shuttle tankers – Kirill Lavrov and Mikhail Ulyanov, built at St. Petersburg’s Admiralty Shipyards. Since April 2014, the tankers have transported about 2.5 million tonnes of oil, having completed 36 voyages by early October. Igor Tonkovidov noted that on 16 September, Sovcomflot’s unique Arc7 ice class Arctic shuttle tanker Shturman Albanov successfully delivered the first large cargo of crude from the Novy Port field to the port of Murmansk. By the end of the year, two more SCF tankers will start operations under the Novy Port project. One of the tankers, Shturman Malygin, joined the company's fleet on 7 October.  

    Igor Tonkovidov noted that Sovcomflot is implementing a system for remote monitoring of the technical condition of the fleet that makes it possible to enhance control over the quality and safety of navigation. “The implementation of the remote preventive diagnostic system allows us to receive all the necessary information about the condition of key machinery on an ongoing basis. This is particularly important for ensuring a continuous fleet operation cycle in the remote areas of the Arctic, where the vessels are hard to access for service engineers and other skilled staff,” – he stressed. 

    In concluding his report, he noted that in the future, Sovcomflot will continue to strengthen cooperation with specialised scientific organisations and regulators – RS, the Central Research Institute of Marine Fleet and the Krylov State Research Centre – in search of modern technical solutions that allow marine operations to be conducted effectively and safely in the severe climatic conditions of the Arctic. 

    The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping presented the “Polar Code Implementation Guidelines”. Mikhail Kuteynikov, Head of Hull Design and Ship Equipment at RS, made a report on the crucial aspects of this document. He noted that the document was developed by the Register for the convenience of customers, and is designed as a tool to determine the list of requirements of the Code applicable to specific vessels. The Guidelines do not duplicate the text of the Polar Code and contain no additional requirements. The document describes the procedure for issuing polar ship certificates and contains the requirements for operational and environmental safety of ships intended for service in polar waters. It will be used in the certification of ships and marine equipment and in reviewing project documentation, as well as documentation for vessels under construction and in operation. 

    Mikhail Gappoev, IMO Technical Officer, talked about how the IMO is going to structure its activities with regard to Arctic navigation issues after the adoption of the Polar Code. The benefits of using mathematical modelling techniques to determine the safety of ship manoeuvring in ice conditions, and developing specific recommendations, were highlighted by Andrey Ershov, Associate Professor of the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping. Vladimir Tryaskin, Professor of the St. Petersburg State Marine Technical University, shared the experience of developing recommendations for acceptable and dangerous modes of vessel operation in ice. The conference materials are available on RS’s website. 

    PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is one of the world's leading shipping companies, specialising in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and liquefied gas, as well as servicing offshore upstream oil and gas installations and equipment. The Group’s fleet comprises 153 vessels with a total deadweight over 13 million tonnes. The company is registered in St. Petersburg with offices in Moscow, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, London, Limassol, and Dubai. 

    The Group offers a wide range of vessels in the market segments most demanded by major Russian oil and gas companies. With its own technical development and unique approach to advanced technologies, Sovcomflot has the ability to meet the most demanding customer requirements, providing effective transportation for oil & gas companies. 

    The Polar Code (International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters) was developed and adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Code was developed based on an assessment of risks specific to polar waters and is designed to ensure safe operation of ships and protection of the polar environment. From 1 January 2017, the requirements of the Code regarding maritime safety will become mandatory for new ships built on or after that date. Ships built before that date are to be brought in line with the requirements of the Code no later than the date of the first renewal or intermediate survey after 1 January 2018.  

    The operational environmental protection requirements include a total ban on the discharge of oil and oily waters, noxious liquid substances, operating restrictions on the discharge of sewage and garbage, etc. The Polar Code will not apply to warships and ships used for public non-commercial purposes. In the Arctic, the Code will apply to the space to the east of the Kanin Peninsular to the Bering Strait and the Bering Sea north of 60 N. As for Antarctica, the Polar Code will apply in the area south of 60 S.

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